Banishment & pubicity
LANGJ at mail.syntron.com
Fri Mar 31 08:35:34 PST 1995
There are two very sad facts that we must live with.
One, is that we (the SCA) do not have the option of running FBI
background checks on prospective (or current) members. Anyone who
has the price of a membership may join. Unfortunately, over the
years, some truly awful people have joined the SCA. If John
Dillenger were alive, and had $35, he could join.
It goes against the grain of our vision to take the precautions
that this requires.
Though we are 99%+ honorable people, the fraction of a percent who
are not make it necessary to lock our cars, and watch our
children. These precautions need not be intrusive, they are
dictated by prudence and common sense.
The other sad fact we must deal with, Is that we are an
outrageously litigious society. Our legal system encourages anyone
with any grievance to seek damages in court. Whatever the merit.
If John Doe is accused of a crime of any nature at an event, we
may (if the Crown feels it appropriate) banish him. Because the
corporation does not want to conduct any business "behind closed
doors" any such action must be published in the Kingdom News
Letter (the Black Star, in our case). Officers and Autocrats, may
be warned, discreetly of the reasons, but to publish that the
Society is acting against John Doe for the commission of a crime
for which he has not been convicted, puts the Society at
considerable risk of litigation for slander (to name but one
If Michael wishes to dig up the dirt on any pending case, and
publish names and accusations, he may do so. He then may ask the
rest of us to contribute to his legal defense fund, as he is sued
- I'll write "I told you so." on the check -
A third cause for distress, is societal in general, extending far
beyond the SCA.
The conservative extreme in our society, having lost the
communist threat as a focus for their paranoia, has chosen to
cast suspicion on numerous activities. We're a little weird for
some of them, and may find our activities labeled as a social
Some of these individuals would like to see us restrict the rights
of some of our minorities. I trust that we shall not do so.
In all cases, a reasonable exercise of prudence by our membership,
will be adequate protection from those who have joined the SCA
because we are so vulnerable to those whose actions are less than
honourable. Season that with a healthy distrust of any suggestion
that smacks of a neo "McCarthyesque" policy.
[langj at mail.syntron.com]
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